Microsoft PowerToys are getting a major Windows 11 update

Windows 11 logo PC
(Image credit: / mundissima)

Now that Windows 11 has been released, Microsoft has updated PowerToys with new UI changes so that it set of utilities now feature the same design as the latest version of its operating system.

First introduced with Windows 95 and then brought back for Windows 10 two years ago, PowerToys are a set of tools that are designed to make it more convenient to use the software giant's operating system to its full potential. The modern version of PowerToys includes nine tools that allow Windows users to do things like rename multiple files at once, resize images, pick colors or open applications even faster using a quick launcher.

Microsoft has also made it easier to start using PowerToys in Windows 11 as its utilities can now be downloaded and installed from both the Microsoft Store as well as GitHub.

With the release of PowerToys 0.49, the company has redesigned the settings menu in PowerRename which is a utility used to rename files faster and in bulk. It now features a new look to match the design of Windows 11. The edges of PowerRename's windows have been rounded and they are also more transparent.

Video Conference Mute and Find My Mouse

In addition to the new UI changes, Microsoft has also rolled out two new features with the release of version 0.49 of PowerToys.

Video Conference Mute is a new new feature that allows users to mute their microphone or disable their webcam globally across both Windows 10 and Windows 11. It can be binded to a keyboard shortcut and there is even a toolbar that appears when your webcam or microphone are being used. 

While Microsoft initially planned to launch Windows 11 with its own universal microphone mute button, the feature didn't make it into the final release of the operating system though it should be arriving in a later update. For now, power users can leverage Video Conference Mute to achieve the same outcome.

Finally, Microsoft has added a new feature called Find My Mouse to PowerToys. This feature makes it easier to find your mouse when working on multiple displays, an ultrawide monitor or a business monitor with a higher resolution. Simply double tapping the left CTRL key will dim your screen and highlight your mouse cursor with a white circle to make it much easier to find.

Microsoft has updated PowerToys a number of times over the past few years and if these new features are any indication, it's likely that the company will continue to bring new utilities to its operating system so that power users can make the most out of Windows 11.

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Via The Verge

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.